Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Harnessing the power of view-through attribution for sustainable growth

By Alexandre Pham, VP EMEA, Adjust

Today more than ever, marketers are in search of new approaches to sustained growth. View-through attribution (VTA), also known as impression tracking, has emerged as a significant tool.

Unlike click-through attribution, which is used to track conversions based on clicks, VTA recognises the impact of impressions that occur after users view an ad within a specific timeframe. While the attribution provided by VTA may be less concrete, it plays a crucial role in measuring campaign effectiveness and gaining valuable insights into user behaviour.

A positive outlook for mobile marketers

Globally, the adoption of view-through attribution is continuing to rise, with further growth on the cards. The average VTA adoption rate currently stands at 58%, though looking at app verticals, several stand out with notably high VTA adoption rates. The health and fitness vertical, for example, occupies a VTA adoption rate of 76%, with food and drink  (70%) education (68%) closely behind.

With the help of VTA, marketers can see which impressions are driving installs, both directly and indirectly. This allows a holistic view of which channels are providing brand uplift and assisting power. Brands can access the information needed to effectively assess upper- and mid-funnel performance, and tap into broad and then more granular overviews of their users’ journey. Ultimately, this results in marketers feeling empowered to increase budgets on certain channels to drive return on ad spend (ROAS).

But what does it take to succeed in the complex mobile app landscape? To help marketers harness the power of VTA, we’ve outlined five key steps for VTA success in our VTA e-book, supported by industry insights, benchmarks, and trends. Let’s take a look at these recommended strategies…

1. Understand the VTA model

Mapping out the complete customer/user journey specific to your app is crucial. While attributing conversions to clicks is important, it is equally essential to acknowledge the role impressions play in driving user actions. Implementing VTA allows for a more accurate assessment of the impact of ads and organic sources on conversions.

2. Test your SKAN setup

Apple’s SKAdNetwork (SKAN)  has supported VTA across various advertising formats since its 2.2 update in 2021. Before launching VTA retargeting campaigns, it is vital to ensure that the ad exchanges you collaborate with implement the necessary changes to their software development kits (SDKs) to support VTA. Thoroughly test your SKAN conversion value mapping setup to ensure it is optimised, leveraging the support provided by Adjust’s Conversion Hub and iOS Solutions.

3. Determine your ideal VTA window

Start with the industry average VTA window length, typically 24 hours, and iterate from there. Experiment with longer windows to capture more attribution insights, considering factors such as vertical, target audience, geograph, and campaign objectives. Then analyse the impact of other marketing activities, brand awareness and the effectiveness of your campaign’s creatives to determine the most suitable VTA window for specific campaigns.

4. Combine VTA with CTA

Embrace a “VTA with CTA” approach by first monitoring clicks on call-to-actions (CTAs) to attribute installs from users who view an ad and subsequently click on the ad’s CTA. Next, establish a specific period after the initial exposure of an ad, and utilise VTA to track installs and clicks associated with that exposure to gain a comprehensive understanding of ad performance and lift.

5. Utilise a comprehensive measurement solution

VTA does not replace last-click attribution; however,  relying solely on a last-click model limits the depth of insights. Partnering with the right mobile measurement provider ensures accurate attribution data, identifies trends and automates campaign management. With Adjust’s comprehensive mobile measurement and analytics suite, marketers can define attribution windows based on any impression, analyse click-based and impression-based installs separately,  eliminating insights lost due to manual VTA tracking errors.

Embracing VTA in 2023 and beyond

In the ever-evolving mobile landscape of 2023, and beyond, harnessing the power of VTA is a critical step for app marketers seeking sustainable growth. Embracing VTA best practices, understanding regional adoption rates, and partnering with a comprehensive measurement solution provider empower marketers to make data-driven decisions and unlock the full potential of their campaigns. With VTA, marketers can navigate the complex digital advertising ecosystem and drive meaningful results.